Missouri, like other states in the country, has laws that prohibit driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. As one would expect, these laws place limits on the amount of alcohol a person can have in their blood while driving. If a person is found driving while over these limits, they may lose their driver’s license and be required to agree to future alcohol and drug testing.
When a person is driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08, this is all the proof that’s needed for them to be charged with a DWI. An individual may face an enhanced penalty if their blood alcohol content is 0.15 or higher.
The state has a zero-tolerance policy for individuals under the age of 21. Having a BAC of 0.02 is a violation for those who are under the drinking age and drive. The state may impose penalties based on the BAC level of the individual and their history of convictions. In most cases, a person’s first DWI is labeled as a class B misdemeanor. They may face a minimum of 48 hours jail time if their BAC is between 0.15 and 0.20. For a BAC of 0.20 or more, the minimum jail time is five days.
The maximum jail sentence for someone with a class B misdemeanor is six months. They may also face a fine of up to $500. The more convictions an offender has, the more time they will serve in jail. If a person has one prior conviction, the minimum jail time is 10 days. For two or more convictions, the minimum is 30 days. For three or more convictions, the minimum is 60 days. When a person is four or more convictions, the minimum they can be sentenced to is two years.
Understandably, the state takes driving while under the influence seriously. When a person is arrested and charged with a DWI, they may benefit from the assistance of a criminal defense attorney. Criminal defense attorneys may be able to argue their client’s case, help get the charges reduced and possibly have charges dropped.